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Aibu to feel this way?

(20 Posts)
DiscotequeJuliet Sun 05-Nov-17 10:54:04

My son has some delays and behaviour/social issues. Nothing diagnosed yet, he's not quite 4 yet, but it looks like the professionals currently involved are now moving in the direction of some kind of assessment, diagnosis etc. It's all still up in the air, I don't even know what diagnosis we would be looking at. The obvious one being ASD I suppose, but he doesn't fit many of the indicators, so I don't know.

Anyway, my AIBU is: I constantly feel I'm judged for the way he behaves. Like there's an air of suspicion around me, that people think there must be something about me or our home life that has caused this. I realise this sounds paranoid.

I sense with professionals, they kind of go through a bit of a checklist "is the child neglected, is there DV at home, are they known to social services" etc - which makes sense to me. But then they move on and focus on helping my son and helping me learn how to help him. Brilliant.

But it's all the others. The mum's in the playground and at toddler group. The distant relatives posting passive aggressive memes on Facebook.

I (foolishly) took him along to a makaton playgroup thing, hoping to find a new way to communicate. It was a painful experience all round. Every week, I left with red cheeks, holding back tears. Not because of his actions (although it was bad), but because of the whispers and stares of other mums. Like the one who was exceedingly friendly to my face, but then turned to her sister and stage whispered "That's the boy I was telling you about" when she didn't know I was behind her.

And now he's at preschool attached to the primary school he'll start in September, and there's the "there's something not quite right about that child..." looks I'm getting from a few of the other parents. Not all - some are lovely and non judgy. If/when he gets a diagnosis, it will be easier because I can say "I'm sorry. He's behaving that way because he's _", but right now they're just seeing a boy who behaves like a much younger child with innapropriate behaviour.

I constantly feel like I'm in a job interview, but instead of telling a prospective employer what experience I have, I'm trying to show other parents that I'm nice and normal, I'm well educated, have a nice clean house, love and nurture my kids etc it's exhausting. I feel like if I have an off day, like imagine i rolled up to school with a bit of a hangover after a night out, someone would think "ahh. Well that explains the child. Mother's a drinker" or of I've got pms and being a bit snappy and abrupt, they'll think "refrigerator mother."

I guess that largely this is my own guilt and paranoia, but some of it is real life judgement.

Has anyone else felt this way or similar?

notsohippychick Sun 05-Nov-17 11:00:26

Hi lovely.

You are not alone in this! I have two children with ASD - I used to feel like you, for a long long time, but it does get easier with time. You do learn to turn the other cheek, as people haven't the fainest clue what you are going through. Their ignorance is their problem. I used to say........."I can see you are judging and staring and my child....I assuming you know more than me about raising an autistic child......can I pick your brains?" That shuts them up.

My suggestion would be to find local Facebook groups, for parents that are going through the same thing. I have joined a few and everyone understands, you kind of feel at home! Often they have days out and about - perhaps you could go on one of them? The pressure if off then and if your son has a difficult day - no-one would bat an eyelid.

I hope this helps. Keep on going, you are going a wonderful job x

Worriedobsessive Sun 05-Nov-17 11:03:06

Cheeseontoastie Sun 05-Nov-17 11:03:13

My child had asd never been asked if there is neglect issues, social services involvement or dv, not by anyone. That doesn't sound right. Are you sure there aren't any other issues that make them ask this? sorry if that sounds rude just never came across that by anyone professional or otherwise. However as she didn't talk to very late on oeople did assume that I just didn't talk to her. Which Ofcourse wasn't true.

Flyingprettycretonnecurtains Sun 05-Nov-17 11:03:55

Yup. Had this T-shirt. I remember my son was always the one not invited to parties or other kids' houses. I was the playground pariah apart from a couple of lovely women. It helped that I worked so wasn't around so much so could escape stuff. I even got a shitty primary teacher who also went to my husband's church who said to me (I am a teacher) 'you must have been so distraught to know how badly affected he it'. Bitch. It still winds me up.

DS is in his early twenties now. He is the nicest, kindest person you could find. Yes he is quirky but he drives, works, does my housework, organises his bank accounts, life, travels independently and is good company. He has loads of SEN but is funny, intuitive and hits nails on heads with breathtaking frequency. Life hasn't been easy and I still feel judged that his job is relatively low level and he isn't at uni but hey ho.

Cheeseontoastie Sun 05-Nov-17 11:04:52

However I've just remembered dd has been having issues at school recently (hurt two teachers) and I was asked whats happening at home as if it was something at home that caused it which did annoy me.

Worriedobsessive Sun 05-Nov-17 11:07:38


I had a supposed friend say that her child wouldn’t behave like mine (spinning on the spot, flapping, running off etc) “because he wouldn’t be allowed to be like that.”

People with neurotypical kids always ascribe their child’s compliant behaviour with their own supposedly stellar parenting. Fuck ‘em, OP.

Nikephorus Sun 05-Nov-17 11:17:20

Maybe try and reframe their behaviour in your head by remembering that there are some children who do behave differently because of issues at home and if these mums' judgey attitudes helps one kid like that by highlighting an issue then it's sort of worth it (even if crappy for you)? Failing that then tell yourself that they can't help being ignorant & hopefully one day a fraction of your enlightened state will rub off on them and make them better people grin

Afternooncatnap Sun 05-Nov-17 11:18:05

My sons still young so not really the same but he has problems and I always feel people are judging me.

I feel like people assume I did somthing when I was pregnant. I feel like other mums think I'm thick and don't realise he has issues. I think people/doctors think I don't care about him because I don't get distraught when we come across another issues, when in fact it's just that I'm used to it and I'm being strong.

But I honestly think a lot of those feelings are in my head. There are judgmental twatts in the world but most people are generally good and nice. We let the bad ones cloud our judgement of everyone.

Joining a group with people in similar circumstances is a really good idea. It's really nice to meet parents who you know aren't judging and who you know are going through somthing simular.

Afternooncatnap Sun 05-Nov-17 11:19:45

People with neurotypical kids always ascribe their child’s compliant behaviour with their own supposedly stellar parenting. Fuck ‘em, OP.

Too right

Nikephorus Sun 05-Nov-17 11:26:30

I had a supposed friend say that her child wouldn’t behave like mine (spinning on the spot, flapping, running off etc) “because he wouldn’t be allowed to be like that.”
Tell your friend that even if you manage to squash some autistic behaviours they'll still come out eventually - even if they're subdued till the person's in their 40s! My mum is one of those people who's bothered about what everyone else supposedly thinks (even though they're too busy getting on with their own lives to notice you Mum) and I was all too aware of what I wasn't allowed to do as a child (and scared of my mum's temper) so my behaviour was limited. But having been diagnosed in my 40s I'm noticing more and more now that I do these typical autistic traits like flapping - I don't feel the need any more to suppress myself and pretend to be something I'm not so they're all coming out. Yesterday I was using a bookmark as a lovely flapper - it made a great noise & feeling. By the time I'm in my 80s I'll probably be skipping around flapping & having a whale of a time in public grin

DiscotequeJuliet Sun 05-Nov-17 11:29:42

Thank you all, it's so reassuring to read im not alone, I think I've felt quite isolated for a long time.

Cheese - the health visitor asked all those questions at his 2 year check when she referred him on for extra intervention, a long with asking if there were any MH issues at home. When he had portage, they also had a similar Checklist, but both times it seems like a standard form - not like they looked at me and pressed the panic button and The Special Checklist For Terrible Parents was deployed.

And when other professionals, like SALT, have been involved, they've asked for a home visit. Which I assumed was to check we are normal and not living in a stimulation proof vacuum, but maybe I'm reading too much in to it.

There's no dv or drugs or a crazy uncle locked in the attic.

worried - I'm familiar with that. The childless relative who told me ds's wouldn't have a meltdown if he were his father, because he'd give him a smack and that would be the end of it.

Or the other end of the scale, with people who make you feel you're making it up or something. A friend who'll say "Oh, but mine did that" or "so-so's kid won't have his teeth brushed either". And I go home thinking I must be pathetic - I've gained 3 stones and aged about 10 years in the past 3 due to stress of coping with him.

Afternooncatnap Sun 05-Nov-17 18:56:04

We've got a portage assessment at the house this months. So I assume they are checking me and the house out and not just ds. I wondered why it was at home.

Coastalcommand Sun 05-Nov-17 19:05:26

What is your son doing OP? I only ask because there are children at our mum and toddler group who hit/kick/bite smaller children, with little intervention from their parents. It doesn't excuse their behaviour, but if their children are being hurt it might go towards explaining it?

FuckShitJackFairy Sun 05-Nov-17 20:27:45

I very loudly tell everyone and anyone about my dc disabilities (and did prior to diagnosis- just said they are being assessed) as i do about my own disabilities. Partly so my dc get the message disabilities are nothing to be ashamed of and partly because it weeds out the fucking dickshafts from the decent but confused ones. I've met plenty of lovely understanding parents this way. A more low key way would be to ask the school/hv to put you in contact with other parents in a similar situation or to look at local support groups.

mrsRosaPimento Sun 05-Nov-17 22:10:54

Yes. Ds1 is high functioning autistic, 13 and bigger than me. People stare when he meltsdown. I give off a fuck you vibe in my stony glare. I don’t care what people think, but their staring isn’t helpful. A woman recently was staring with a look of disgust at him trying not to meltdown. Fortunately she stopped after I caught her eye. She was a little person, so must be used to people staring at her, but plainly had no empathy for ds1. I just thought, you would know what it’s like being different to average and would have compassion.
We were told by ds1’s senco afew weeks ago. I just hadn’t connected his quirks to the label. When I looked into it , autism was obvious. But I just saw my son.

MsGameandWatching Sun 05-Nov-17 22:29:46

Are you sure there aren't any other issues that make them ask this? sorry if that sounds rude just never came across that by anyone professional or otherwise

You sound as bad as them! I know loads of parents of autistic children and they have ALL experienced what the OP describes to one degree or another.

I have two children with autism. We are pretty isolated because of the kind of scenarios you describe OP. In fact there are long term family rifts that will never be repaired because my children have autism and the family members reactions were so disgusting. People are so much desperate to believe that you're a bad parent rather than there's an actual issue. I don't understand it. We don't visit people much and when we do it has to be carefully managed. Last new year we went to stay with friends to see the new year in, we arrived there at six and were back in our own home by nine as one of my children just couldn't cope. Won't try THAT again. And I could tell you a hundred stories like that.

FuckShitJackFairy Mon 06-Nov-17 06:20:56

'Little person' is really fucking disabilist. As is autistic- we are not a different fucking spiecies.

Sirzy Mon 06-Nov-17 06:28:28

The professionals have to look at the bigger picture, they would be doing the child a disservice if they didn’t. Of course it should be done in a respectful way but they can’t just ignore that side of things when it could be significant.

As for other people I think sadly you do just have to develop a thick skin and ignore people. I will never forget battling ds into school when he was in reception and a mum of a child in his class making a “you wouldn’t behave like that would you” type comment to her daughter. I realised that in that scenario actually the one with the problem is the other Mum who is obviously very judgemental and ignorant.

DiscotequeJuliet Mon 06-Nov-17 07:45:08

coastal - he's not violent towards anyone. He was, until recently, violent towards himself (headbutting floor and biting himself) but this behaviour has almost ceased since he's beginning to talk. I guess it was anger and frustration related.

He doesn't go near other children, they might as well not be there, and he's more likely to dissolve in to inconsolable tears if someone pushes him, rather than push back.

So it's not like the parents cower in fear of him hurting their kid.

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